World Champion Magnus Carlsen lost two classical games in a row for the first time since 2010, when he lost to Teimur Radjabov in the fifth round of the Gashimov Memorial on Friday. The 23-year old had lost the previous round to Italy’s Fabiano Caruana. The ongoing Gashimov memorial is a Cateogry-22 tournament which features many top players. Challenger Viswanathan Anand is not a part of the event.
Carlsen had begun briskly, registering wins against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Hikaru Nakamura to lead the tournament after two rounds. Carlsen drew his third round game against Sergey Karjakin but then complained of feeling unwell. This also coincided with a mini-slump.
Carlsen lost his fourth round game to Caruana, who was the last player to beat him in the format, back in June 2013. Carlsen then stumbled to another loss, this time to Radjabov, a player he had beaten across both rounds at the Candidates tournament last year. While the first loss was due to an incorrect capture that led to a handicapped endgame, Radjabov outplayed a feeble Carlsen despite being under time trouble in round five.
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The twin losses aren’t, however, Carlsen’s worst performance. In 2010, he lost three matches in a row at the Chess Olympiad to opponents ranked much lower and then lost two games back to back to Vladimir Kramnik and Anand at the Bilbao Masters.
The Gashimov Memorial is a ten round double round-robin tournament in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. Radjabov, an Azeri, is leading at the halfway stage.
Adhiban wins silver, WC berth
Sharjah: Grandmaster B Adhiban clinched a silver medal and also a berth at the next year’s World Chess Cup after a hard-fought draw with Yu Yangyi of China in the final round of the Asian Continental Chess Championship, here Saturday. Adhiban, who ended up with 6.5 points, out of a possible nine, had the best tie-break. The silver medal gives the Indian an entry in the 2015 World Chess Cup to be held at Baku, Azerbaijan.